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New Michael Jackson Song Premieres

Much Too Soon' was written around the time of 'Thriller'

November 30, 2010 11:04 AM ET

Another song from the forthcoming Michael Jackson LP Michael was released Tuesday. "Much Too Soon" is a ballad of lost love that's being streamed free for one week in Apple's new music-centric social network, iTunes Ping.

The song opens with gently plucked acoustic guitar that's more than a little reminiscent of the intro to MJ's 1972 hit "Ben." It then moves into a full acoustic arrangement loaded with strings and brief accordion and harmonica passages. Jackson's vocal is soft and restrained throughout.

According to Jackson's website, the song was written at the time of Thriller: "Michael always liked the song and would pull it back out of the vaults for each subsequent album project but never found the right home for it." The song, written by Jackson and co-produced by the singer with John McClain, now a co-executor of his estate, will be the closing track on Michael.

Check Out All of Rolling Stone's coverage in "Michael Jackson Remembered."

"Much Too Soon" is the third song to be previewed from Michael, joining "Breaking News" and the Akon collaboration "Hold My Hand." The album is slated for release on December 14.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

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